It has been a huge milestone for me to reach this goal, the first time I achieved four years sobriety was in 2002, it wasn’t long before it all went horribly wrong and I decided that just one drink would be ok, it took me almost four years to get myself together enough to stop again.
During that time, my life fell into free fall and it was literally a living hell. I look back on that time as the time when I almost lost my mental health and was on the brink of emotional death. I looked at myself in the mirror and I no longer recognised the person looking back at me, I was almost gone. We were in a living nightmare with family issues and I just could not cope, my support system had been wiped from under my feet and I fell into the abyss.
One thing I had not really been aware of until this time were the underlying addictions that were waiting to raise their ugly heads, food, love and destructive relationsips, co-dependency and a childhood trauma buried so deep it took this time to really bring it to it’s head, I had not known just how bad it was until now. I had talked about it and talked about it, but I had not really felt it or seen it in it’s full flow until now. Having a relationship with someone who was so unavailable, so unwell showed me that there was something very very wrong with me. Most people would have walked away and not put up with it, I did not know what they were talking about, to me it felt like home. I also had to face myself and my behaviours from my youth which took me to a place I could not understand.
I wanted to stop, but I couldn’t and and everytime I made an excuse, began to think that all the people in recovery were boring and on the dilusion went, until one day, New Year’s Eve, 5 Years ago, I set myself up, asked some friends to bring champagne over and they only brought one bottle, I was the only one who had 3 glasses and their faces were horrified as I had tried to stop drinking for a good six months before then, it was that moment, when I could not stop, I would have necked a whole crate if there was one, I realised I had a real problem and I had to stop. Thank God, one day at a time, I have.
The last four years have been full of distress, anguish and realisations that I am not just an Alcohlolic, I am an Addict, I can be addicted to anything to help me escape my feelings. I am now learning to challenge them, to speak my truth and what is brilliant is that I am now getting people around me who are willing to be available for me, and that has made all the difference.
There are still plenty of things to sort through but instead of stuffing my feelings and building one resentment on top of the other, I speak it out and I am heard and mostly understood, which is very very new for me.
I have to deal with the underlying trauma of my childhood which still rears it’s ugly head, I still think that everyone is going to leave me, no matter what which is a very lonely place to be, but it is getting better. When I share my pain, with safe people, I can often see the insanity of it, and eventually it becomes healing. For some people in recovery, they do not have this extra burden, but for those of us that do, there is hope, with the right support and love we have a chance. It feels to me like I am waking from a dream, and my feelings are coming to life, there is an untold amount of grief to face and with that will come a new life, I have amends to make, and I will. I am finally able to face my pain because I am not being judged for it, not being shamed for it, not rejected for it.
Thank you to everyone who has helped me over the last few years.
Happy New Year, Love Penny